"Even though the Viipuri library restoration will take several more years to complete, it has deservingly become a leading example in the growing subspecialty of conserving 20th century modernist architecture."
President for Field Projects, World Monuments Fund
The restoration of Viipuri library is a critical process and an interesting pilot project for the restoration and conservation of Modern architecture. The goal of the restoration is to regain the architectural values of the building, while meeting the present needs of function and safety.
The work to save the Viipuri Library has now gone on for fifteen years. At start nobody was able to grasp all the problems that lay ahead or predict the pace of the work. Also, it took time to develop a working formula for cooperation. Today the project has strong support within the city administration of Vyborg and the value of the building is recognized by the authorities in both Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The glass façade of the main stair hall 1994-1996
The library caretaker`s apartment 1997 - 2000
The roofs 1996, 1999-2003
The skylights 2001-2003
The entrance doors 2001, 2002-2005
The exterior stairs of the lending hall 2001
The children`s library entrance 2004-2005
The iron/steel windows 2001-2008
The periodicals reading room 2004-2005
The lecture hall 2006-2009
The undulating wooden ceiling 2007-2008
The main hall 2009
January 1992 – Alvar Aalto`s widow Elisa Aalto, the Alvar Aalto& Co Architectural Office, together with representatives of Alvar Aalto Club, the Finnish Ministry of Enviroment and Finland`s Consulate General in St.Petersburg made the first official visit to Vyborg to meet the city authorities
March 1992 - Head of Administration, Nikolai Smirnov, Chairman of City Council of Vyborg, Nikolai Razinskij and Mikko Mansikka,Head of the Department from the Ministry of Enviroment , signed the Supplementary Protocol of Intentions for the restoration of the Municipal Library Alvar Aalto in Vyborg.
October 1992 - the Finnish Committee for the restoration of Viipuri Library was founded
May 1993 - a seminar on the restoration problems of Alvar Aalto library was held in St.Petersburg with participants both the Russian and Finnish Restoration Committees
21 May 1993 - Vladimir Popov, chairman of the St.Petersburg Union of Architects, Andrey Mylnikov, president of St.Petersburg Cultural Foundation, Kristian Gullichsen, chairman of Finnish Committee for the restoration of Viipuri Library, and Gunnel Adlercreutz, president of Finnish Association of Architects, signed the Agreement on the use of the Donations and other Contributions for the joint Russian-Finnish Restoration project of the Vyborg Library
1994 - the restoration works on the big glass wall started
1995 - the Library was inscribed in the Russian Federation`s list of Objects of Historical and Cultural Heritage. The Honour International Committee for the restoration of Viipuri Library was found. The Chairman of the Committee Martti Ahtisari
1996 - City of Vyborg has financed scientific documentation and an architectural and production design by the authorized restoration institute Spetsproektrestavrazia in St.Petersburg
2000 - The Library was included in the World Monuments List of 100 most endangered sites and the donations for the restoration of the library roofs ware received from Robert Wilson`s Fund.
March 2002 - the Conference titled «The Viipuri Library – Saving a Modern Masterpiece» was organized in New York.
27 May 2002 -The President of Finland Tarija Halonen visited the library
18-19 September 2003- the 7th International DOCOMOMO Technology Seminar «Alvar Aalto Library – Technology of Sensation» took place in the library.
2006- Robert Wilson, the President of World Monuments Fund visited the library
2008- The first book in Russian language about the library «Alvar Aalto Karelian Masterpiece» was issued with the help of Svenska Alvar Aaltosallakapet
2009- The book «Alvar Aalto library in Vyborg. Saving a modern Masterpiece» was published by The Finnish Committee for the restoration of Viipuri Library.
2010- The Decree of the Government of Leningrad region from 29.12.2010 №378 allocated 255,5 million rubles for the repair and restoration works in the building of Vyborg Central City Alvar Aalto library . Subsidy granted by order of the RF Government 08.12.2010 №2196-r and the order of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, running number 44-7269
2013 - «The Restoration of the year 2013» named the experts the work of specialists in the Alvar Aalto library in Vyborg. The award ceremony The Art Newspaper Russia took place on the 4 of April 2014 in Moscow Central Exhibition Hall.
2014 - The World Monuments Fund/ Knoll Modernism Prize 2014 award to Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library with The Central City Alvar Aalto Library in Vyborg for the restoration of Vyborg Library, Vyborg, The Russian Federation.
2015 - The exemplary restoration of the Viipuri Library in Vyborg in Russia has won a Europa Nostra Award 2015. The conservation of the Viipuri Library will be honoured – together with this year’s winners of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards – at a ceremony to be held on 11 June at the City Hall of Oslo in Norway. The renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra Plácido Domingo will co-host the European Heritage Awards Ceremony.